By Marjaleen Ramos
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto will be re-elected when the 18th Congress opens on July 22.
Drilon said the majority has already agreed that Sotto will retain his post.
“Sa ‘min, ‘yung mayorya, nagkasundo na magpapatuloy si Senate President Sotto. ‘Yan po wala nang kuwestiyon. Pagbukas ng session sa July 22 eh ‘yan po ang pormalidad. We will elect Sen. Sotto in accordance with the Constitution,” Drilon said.
On Monday, neophyte senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he would support Sotto, calling it a “done deal.”
“Hindi ko pa nabilang pero parang done deal na yan… Yes, napagusapan na namin yan. We will support him, we will maintain the status quo,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson also said the Senate majority and minority blocs worked harmoniously in the last (17th) Congress.
‘’Under the leadership of SP Sotto, mas maganda ang harmony, ang working relationship ng majority and minority, kasi consensus builder si SP. Sa kanya, ayaw niya pinupwersa ang minority even during caucuses; talagang we hear them out kung ano ang mga concerns at pinagbibigyan namin kung kayang pagbigyan. Pero kung talagang parang obstructionist na ang dating hindi na namin pagbibigyan,’’ he explained. (There was a harmonious relationship between the majority and minority blocs because Sotto is a consensus builder. Sotto did not resort to twisting the arms of the minority. We heard them out and gave way when there is a need for it. If they proved to be obstructionists, we did not give it.)
Sotto was elected as Senate President in May, 2018, replacing former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III. At least 13 votes from his colleagues are needed to retain his post. (With a report by Mario Casayuran)